|Description:||At a very low magnification of 12X, this scanning electron microscopic (SEM) image focused on the head region of an adult “figeater” beetle, Cotinis mutabilis. Note the two laterally-positioned eyes, as well as the insect’s overlapping mandibles. For successively greater magnifications of this region with its exoskeletal features PHIL 9954, 9955, 9956, 9957 and 9958.|
The figeater’s body is composed of three regions: head, thorax, and abdomen. Based on support provided by a sturdy exoskeleton, the insect’s jointed limbs, upon which its placement into the phylum ”Arthropoda” is based, its sensory structures, i.e., eyes, antennae, setae, and the exoskeleton itself are all composed of “chitin”. Chitin is a molecule made up of bound units of acetylglucosamine, joined in such a way as to allow for increased points at which hydrogen bonding can occur. In this way chitin provides increased strength, and durability as an exoskeletal foundation.